True to his adapted monicker, Jon Swift pens delightful satire indeed. Witness his proposals for better names for US government agencies.

I recently discovered h2g2, apparently conceived by the late, great Douglas Adams as a kind of Ur-pedia (in the sense that there’s Wikipedia, community-driven but without h2g2’s wit).

What to do when there’s a ketchup emergency. And more on that condiment. And how to make an Orange Julius. Also, Emperor Constantine, apparently, banned sausages as harmful to Catholicism. And finally, this delightful opening sentence:

In an act that still has cows very afraid, some American a few generations ago thought it would be a great idea to take the dairy product known as cheese and beat it into submission.

And a good read: everything you ever wanted to know about the famous Beatles visit to Manila.

Another good read: Calos Celdran on the mestizaje.

Via Planet Nelson: a guy decides to live on processed monkey food. Read The Monkey Chow Diaries.

Since the weekend is for feeding… Bacon fat is essential for a good fried egg sandwich. But it’s not in bacon heaven. More down to earth is Bacontarian.

Stuff from the sea: save the sturgeon. Eat Avruga. A review on its taste. And read The Lobster Blog, on the secret lives of lobsters. There’s a particularly fascinatingly gruesome entry on new technology that allows a lobster to be extracted from its shell virtually intact (with photos!).

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Manuel L. Quezon III.

16 thoughts on “Ur-pedia

  1. About food, this am I saw an rpn 9 30min episode of maunlad na magsasaka, focusing on Biotechnology, 2nd week of July declared as biotechnology week, promoting primarily Bt Corn, a controversial genetically modified corn specie a subject of trade conflict between supplier US for the EU market, that is being propagated full-scale commercially in the Philippines since 2003. EU, UK, US research indicate potential harm to humans, needing further test before commercial planting. Phil. is first in Asean to commercialize Bt Corn, now sold in the makerts.

  2. hi manolo. was able to catch one of the replays of your new show (The?) Explainer on the reformatted ANC. was thinking maybe you could make room for documentary presentations and cut down a bit on the “lectures” so the show won’t strike viewers like me as monotonous? a la national geographic perhaps? just to invite lasting attention? cutting tricia chongbian off to pick up the discussion’s pace in order to compress the lecture of sorts didn’t look very good either… we’d love to see more of you as you so deftly throw light on a vast array of shady events and hazy issues, temper your own level of scholarship and bring it into contact with the greater viewing public. so i hope for a more viewer-friendly show for you. hope you don’t mind the unsolicited feedback? thanks!

  3. Hi, Kuya Manolo!
    Just checked h2g2… wow! it rocks! will check out your recommended sites tonite. Indeed, the world’s eccentricity thrills me so much, I realized living is great after all.


  4. lobsters….such a heavenly..err maritime delight. Too bad it’s just too expensive for the common Filipino.

  5. Interesting piece of history on the Beatles in Manila.

    “UNKNOWN to many, almost 40 years ago on July 4, 1966, The Beatles made history in Manila. They played twice to the biggest paying crowd in a single day in Manila with at least a combined audience of 80,000 in attendance, unmatched anywhere in the band’s touring history.”

    Details like: “Tickets priced at P20 for the field reserved section and P30 for the grandstand ringside section totaled $100,000 in sales for both concerts” and the one about Brian Epstein’s “brown bag” are gems of information.

    Manila, although perhaps in a negative way, must have been quite an eye-opener for the Beatles since it was a prime influence on their decision to stop touring altogether.

    From what I hear and read, $100,000 was a very large sum in those days. We must have been pretty well-off at that time.

  6. I remember that Beatles’ incident in Manila as well as my 2 older sisters (who were avid, rabid Beatles fans) in great tears when they learned the news. I remember one was “in love” with Paul McCartney and the other one with John Lennon. They used to spend their pocket money buying records and magazines and pictures and posters of the Beatles. My oldest sister even called her dog “Paul”. I thought they and their friends were crazy – I was still a bit too young then to really appreciate the Beatles but I started to appreciate them after George Harrison cut his My Sweet Lord hit.

    Wonder if the Beatles ever experienced anything like the Manila scandal again during their career…

  7. “The Road to War

    We could all be in deep, deep trouble

    …it may be that a fuse has been lit. ‘The nightmare scenario is war in Gaza, widespread war against the Israelis in Lebanon and between factions, Syria and Iran being dragged into the conflict and a steady escalation from there to who knows where, widespread conflict, oil prices through the ceiling, bombs going off all over the place’ said the diplomat. ‘You don’t usually see the nightmare scenario evolve in the Middle East but, if it does, we are all in deep, deep trouble.'”

  8. Juan Makabayan, what’s happening in the Middle East is worrying indeed. We should spare a thought for our civilians counterparts over there. Here’s a link (via 3quarksdaily) to a letter from a Lebanese resident:


    Then scroll down to the comment by a certain ‘Tom Merle’. You’ll find the commenter’s arguments about ‘moving on’ uncannily familiar.

  9. From what I understand, 1966 was the year that the Beatles also decided to concerntrate on recording instead. At that point in their lives, they decided to stop being the nice guys that they were known for.

    The last album they produced in 1966 was Revolver and was released in August 1966…which was after their tour. In 1967, they produced Sgt. Pepper, and from then on, their musical style—and their attitudes and personalities as well—began changing.


    BTW, I have to disclose this: I was actually born years after the Beatles came to being, but I got a heavy diet of Paul, John, George and Ringo when I was in grades V and VI.

  10. Follow-up to my previous comment:

    I wasn’t the first person to think of this idea. I got to read this from one of Ambeth Ocampo’s compilation-books and, later, from other resources and Beatles fan sites as well. They all agree (to an extent) that when the Beatles came to Manila in 1966, it was already a given to expect them to be a little snotty (more so, given that they had also discovered marijuana).

  11. “. . . it was already a given to expect them to be a little snotty”

    – – – That would be a given indeed! It’s not easy to handle the heady experience that these four working class lads from the docks of Liverpool went through. It takes a lot experience and wisdom to handle fame and fortune, especially when one is rapidly propelled into the heights of riches and world-wide adulation from an ordinary sort of existence.

    However, I would prefer to describe the Beatles’ attitude and behaviour then as cheeky or cocky. There wasn’t pretentiousness in their arrogance. And even if theirs was the standard reaction of young men who were having “too much, too soon”, they should not be blamed for trivializing “protocol” that would include indulging the First Family of the Philippines.

    What may be seen as a boorish snub for some, wouldn’t be of any importance for irreverent, working class young men who didn’t owe anything to people in power. These lads made it through their own perseverance, talent, luck . . . and their acclaim by millions of average, ordinary young people like them. Licking ass or sucking up weren’t in their vocabulary.

    It must be said that, in the end, the Beatles handled themselves quite well. They had their awkward and eccentric moments and they took a few blows. But they matured gracefully, both as artists and individuals, and left a legacy of work and performances that will be cherished by many generations to come. It just goes to show that Manila was but a bleep, significant though it may have been, and that the Beatles were much, much bigger . . . far beyond compare . . . than Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos.

  12. And unfortunately, for Filipinos, the Beatles appears to have blacklisted Filipinos on their guest lists and media contacts. I’ve read some time ago in the Manila Bulletin that Steve O’Neal (of RJTV) tried to secure an interview with Sir Paul McCartney. Paul McCartney almost gave that interview until he cancelled at the last minute. The reason? He found out that Steve was from a Filipino (Sir Paul originally thought that Steve was Indonesian.)

    I can understand how Sir Paul feels and acts that way sometimes, given who were the persons who cost him and his bandmates the Manila trip. Despite this, however, it’s worth noting that in the Philippines, people still listen to the Beatles.

  13. Quote Carl: “… It just goes to show that Manila was but a bleep, significant though it may have been, and that the Beatles were much, much bigger . . . far beyond compare . . . than Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos. ”

    good post Carl.


    Wasn’t even in my ‘wonder years”..

    think I was too young to do a Kevin Arnold. I was only 2.

    Yep..the Manila stopover was just a blip of a footnote of a moment.

    Oh, they were bigger than the Marcoses…and Jesus too(it’s alright, I forgive ya John.. you’re still my fave of the fab… sorta like in the same vein as Curley was my favorite stooge)..


  14. Nice to know that beatles tasted pinoy style comeback. ahehehe

    You don’t just go on snubbing imelda. She will get back to you faster than you can say nanay kopooooo!

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